This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Emily: Welcome back to another episode of Risen Motherhood. We are so excited to be back for 2018 and a whole new year, a whole new theme. I am Emily Jensen, here with my sister-in-law, Laura Wifler.
Fun fact, we’re actually recording this pre-2018 because when this episode airs, Laura is going to be moving into my neighborhood.
Laura: [laughs] At least a couple of cornfields away, right Emily? [laughter] Right now the news isn’t public when we’re recording here in December. But by the time the show airs, I will likely be up to my ears in moving boxes. We are moving to Central Iowa, where Emily and Becca, both of my sisters-in-law, are living. We are really excited that my husband was able to get a position there – something that affords much better work-life balance. I think that most of you guys know this is something we have been pursuing for a few years now.
Of course I am really going to miss our community here in Chicago. We have been blessed with an amazing church family that you guys have heard me talk about a lot on the show. But at the same time, really looking forward to being so close to Emily and Becca and their families. We get to record shows in person in the future, which is going to be awesome! [laughter]
Emily: Although for those of you guys who’ve listened to this show for a while know when we record in person we get a little bit sillier [laughter] and we laugh a little bit more. We’re just excited to grow in that, and have Laura around in person. It’s so cool. Another change coming in 2018 is the launch of Patreon. We are really excited about this and we’ll explain more. But in short, it is a way for you guys to join our community and support what we’re doing as a ministry.
Laura: So long story short, and to not take up a ton of the show, as you guys can imagine as the ministry grows, so do the expenses associated with running it. Over the past few years, Emily and I have consistently paid for Risen Motherhood out of pocket. Just know that it has not been a burden; it has been a joy to us. We have loved this ministry – we love the eternal work that we’re able to participate in and we feel very humbled to have a platform like this. Over the past two years, that has just been a gift to us to support this ministry.
In this past six months, we have been blessed by being able to supplement with affiliate sales and with generous spot donations from women, that we didn’t solicit for, that God has just truly provided in his wonderful way. But at this point, it’s getting too expensive for us to consistently pay for that out-of-pocket and to even be covered by some of these other pieces that women and affiliate sales are providing.
So we are launching Patreon. It’s a platform where fans of ministries or brands can support those brands to continue through their dollars. We have different levels for you to be able to give at - it’s $2, $5, $10 and $30 each month. There are different perks that you unlock, which is an exciting feature.
Emily: There’s things like prints, so you can get them for the background of your phone, and downloadables. There’s also some great handbooks; you can start a Podcast Club, which is something you may not have ever heard of before, but you can find out about it on Patreon. There’s also handbooks for starting Bible study and there’s an opportunity to have a video call with Laura and I. Potentially, depending on what level you’re at, you can also get a Risen Motherhood t-shirt. I am actually jealous of that because I don’t have one, and I want one Laura.
Laura: You’re going to donate at that level Emily. Sorry! [laughter]
Emily: There are a ton of things that come with it if you are able to contribute. We would just love it if you guys would come alongside us in what we are getting to do, to share the gospel with moms all over the world. We get amazing emails every week, and messages from moms everywhere, that are in various circumstances and different countries. Some that are missionaries, and some that just want to learn and grow and know how does the gospel impact this really mundane thing that I am dealing with in my everyday life? Laura and I are learning about that; that’s what we’re sharing about. But we are excited to continue providing resources. Though we also need – again, like Laura said – financial help to keep doing that.
Laura: Yes. If you’re looking for a detailed tick list on where that money is going, head over to patreon.com/risenmotherhood, and you can see exactly how we’re going to use all of the funding. We’re sure that some of you are wondering why we’re not doing ads. This is a really good question, and something that Emily and I thought through for a really long time. We know that these are a great option for a lot of podcasts out there. But for us right now, part of it is that we don’t want to give up 1 – 3 minutes of the show in order to do an ad. Since we have such short shows that are 20 minutes, and we hear from a lot of you that you love the timeframe of the show, we don’t want to feel like we’re eating up precious minutes, or extending the show beyond that time.
Another piece is because right now, Emily and I are able to endorse all of our products very authentically. If you’ve been a follower of Risen Motherhood for any amount of time, you know that we have a very robust resources page that is heavily accessed by many of you. We also share a lot of resources on Instagram and Facebook, IG Stories, and all of those things. We want to be able to continue feeling like, “Oh, we don’t have to hawk this product because we’re getting sponsored for it.” Right now you guys can know that every single product that we do show you through the show or social media is all very authentic. It’s not muddied with dollars and feeling like, “Hey, this is something that we’re getting paid for versus something that we’re not.”
Emily: Another way that you can support Risen Motherhood, just to throw this in there, is, if you buy something off of our resources page where an Amazon affiliate program, and that doesn’t change what we put on that page since Laura and I authentically curate those resources. It takes like a tiny, small percentage that helps support what we do at Risen Motherhood. That is even helpful if you utilize our resources page to buy various things that you want to use to help you learn in gospel-centered motherhood.
Again, Patreon is very simple. This isn’t something we want to talk about every single show; this is something we hope we only have to mention maybe a couple of times a year. It was just a way for us to partner with you guys in the spread of the gospel to moms all over the world. We would just be so honored if you would just consider giving. The last thing really quick to say is everything is going to remain free that’s already free.
Laura: Right. Nothing is changing. We want all moms to have access to the resources that are already out there, and to be able to grow together in gospel-centered motherhood. If you did choose to support us, your funding would go towards continuing to create great resources like that. While, yes, there are some perks for the insiders that are within the Patreon community, everything that you see now will continue to remain free. Even if you’re able to give $1 a month, know that that makes a really big difference for the continued running of this ministry. If every listener gave a dollar a month, we would never talk about Patreon again!
Laura: We know that God will provide all that we need. That we won’t get a penny more or less than we need. It’s exactly what he has ordained for us, and so we trust that. But we would just be so humbled if you’d head over and at the very least, check out the page and see what the perks are. Maybe you’ll be enticed to want to join the community. Again, patreon.com/risenmotherhood. Thanks for listening to our spiel.
Okay, let’s get to some real, good meat of the show Emily.
Emily: [laughs] Yes. For those of you who missed it, we’d like to let you know we had a theme for the year, and it was “Biblical Literacy.” If you caught the last episode of 2018 you heard us introduce our 2017 –
Laura: Aah, 2017!
Emily: Ah! I love it. I am already wanting to get into the new year – 2017 you heard us introduce our theme for 2018, which is “Unity In The Gospel.” We just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about what we mean by that, where that came from, and how it applies to us as moms.
Laura: A lot of this came out of the same study that Emily and I did of Ephesians by Keri Fulmar. It was just really neat because as God would ordain it, Emily did it at her church, Spring of 2017, and then I did it at my church the Fall of 2017. And no, our churches did not talk. [laughter] It wasn’t anything like that; it was totally a God thing. If you have studied Ephesians before, or maybe you’ve even done this study that we’re talking about, you know that Paul wrote this letter to a church that was pretty newly formed. The Jews and Gentiles were getting mashed together for the very first time and they were super different from one another.
But they were also learning at this time how to live life together. The Jews had all these laws that they were used to following – they only ate certain things and did certain practices. The Gentiles were like, “No rules ever!” [laughter] They were just so excited about Jesus. It was interesting to see how Paul just wrote to them, exhorting them to find unity in Christ. Even when there were times when it was very difficult for them to find commonalities. Especially when initially meeting and learning to live life with one another.
They had a lot of external differences that they were dealing with - different behaviors, ethnicities, cultural practice, giftings, social economic levels. Sounds a little bit like us moms today. [laughter]
Emily: They just had tons of differences. I think it’s really interesting that Paul wasn’t just like, “Okay, there’s no guidelines. Everybody do whatever you want.” He actually spends the last part of Ephesians laying down like, “Here’s the things that matter that all of you do.” He gave structure to the church and to families. He gave a lot of clear instructions, but he was also saying beyond this, the heart of what we need to remember is that in Christ, we are fellow heirs. We all have the same status before God - we are all sinners, we have all fallen short of his glory, and are all desperately in need of the grace of Christ. When he died on the cross, when we put our faith in him, we all become fellow heirs and we all receive his righteousness and the same Holy Spirit inside of our hearts. Then he is building all of us his whole body together, which we need to be a light for Christ in the world. We are unified in that. God sees differences and they’re beautiful, but we’re equal before him. He loves us equally; we’re equally righteous. That’s an important thing that the church in Ephesus needed to remember.
Laura: If you take that, you can very easily apply it to our world today. Which is what Emily and I are hoping to do, is talking about how as moms, we get into these mom camps. Right? We have, “Oh, I am a home school mom,” “I am a public school mom,” “I am a private school mom.” Maybe it’s food choices – breastfeeding, bottle feeding, how you dress, how your kids are dressed, how you throw a birthday party, what your family dinners look like. We can go on and on about all of these different mom camps. The really big ones that start the mommy wars, and all of the other little ones that we all notice.
We see that as moms today, we are not so different from the Ephesians. We need the same charge that Paul gave to those moms. We need that in our lives today. Our hope with the theme of “Unity In The Gospel” is that all the things that Emily was saying of being fellow heirs in Christ and image bearers of God, created with the same purpose - to bring God glory. All of those things are applicable to all moms today, no matter what you look like, or what your day is filled with. No matter if you spend it at work, or if you’re at home, or if your kids go to different schools, or they have different types of activities that they participate in. All of us moms, yes, we are very different. But at the heart of it, as believing moms, we all are striving for the same purpose.
Emily: I was just listening to a podcast I’ll include on the show notes, where K.A. Ellis was sharing this story of these two Muslim men that were from differing backgrounds – different tribes within the Muslim world – that are just absolutely opposed to each other. These groups hate each other, and these two men became believers and they were in prison together. People could just not believe that they would talk to each other, and they were like brothers in Christ because in the world’s eyes, these two groups were not reconcilable. But in Christ they were reconciled. In Christ, they were in the same family.
That does apply to us as moms, and we even see we have the same call, like Laura was saying. We’ve tried to lay the foundation for it in Risen Motherhood, but what we want to keep saying is that God has called all of us moms to do the same thing. We want to make disciples of everyone that we come in contact with. We want to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love God, and to honor our husbands. This is going to play out really differently. It’s not that there are no rules, no expectations, [laughs] “live however you want, do whatever makes you feel good, live by your own lot.” No, God does give clear boundaries and expectations. He has standards that he lays out in scripture. But there’s a bunch of grey areas, [laughter] and things that are not spelt out. What we need to do is lay our lives down just as Christ has, and obey God in whatever circumstances he has given us.
Laura: Yes. What this looks like practically, first off, we just need to be praying for unity. So in your own life, in interactions with your local church and even for the whole global church. I love that picture that Emily shared about these two brothers-in-Christ really coming together, despite what the world would tell them that they needed to do. Or the way they needed to behave. But they united in the gospel. That’s something that we can be praying for in our own lives.
Another one is just extending grace to people in your own lives. Modeling unity in the gospel, and encouraging others to do the same. Doing that with our children, talking about what our purpose is here on earth as believers. What are we supposed to be about? So modeling that for your kids.
Then of course drawing on last year’s theme, growing in biblical literacy – what goes in must come out in. As you get to know God and his word more, your heart will begin to follow. Just remember that we can pray for these things, we can model these things. But we also really need to be asking God to continue to transform our heart. We do that through reading his word and knowing who he is more. Only God is going to enable you to model the love for others that Christ has shown you. To really begin to be unified with moms across cultures, boundaries, different looks and day to days – God is going to do that and transform your life.
Just like last year, remember that this theme is not going to be explicit in every show. Don’t worry if you’re not super pumped about the theme. [laughter] But hopefully you are pumped, and that we will hopefully weave it in throughout the year. That it will just become this over-arching piece of the puzzle as we do our shows throughout 2018.
Emily: Thanks also for listening to our Patreon spiel. We hope that you guys go and contribute. It’s patreon.com/risenmotherhood. We’ll be doing a lot more on launch week. On social media, you can find us @risenmotherhood.com on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. There’s lots that you can unlock there; just remember to head over and see what it’s all about. But we are so thankful that you guys have joined us for this crazy journey. Yes, hope you guys have a great 2018.